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Hydronic Heat

Hydronic Heating 

How Hydronic Heating Works

Hydronics simply refers to the use of water as the medium in transferring heat in heating and cooling systems. It is sometimes called in-floor or in-slab heating. This type is one of the oldest and most commonly used heating systems in residential and commercial areas. In the olden days, it was already popular among the ancient Romans as well as to the Koreans. Currently, it is said to be the most efficient method of space heating.

In a hydronics heating system, a boiler transfers its heat to water which is afterwards circulated to heat distributors around the home. Acting as heat distributors are the radiators, finned tube baseboard, radiant tubing, towel warmers and kick space heaters. A hydronics system in big commercial buildings normally includes a loop for both cool and heated water. 


A hydronic heating system is made up of two types Ė the steam and hot water. It is further classified according to its flow generation, temperature, pressurization, piping arrangement and pumping arrangement. The systemís piping arrangement can involve just a single pipe or up to four pipes or a series of loops. These pipes are laid in the concrete floor slab to circulate heated water. When heat is transferred to the surface of the slabs, comfortable warm air is provided to all parts of the house. 

Heat delivery

Hydronic heating can be delivered to the entire house through several ways. One is through the use of a baseboard convector heating which circulates water via copper pipes inside the baseboard unit. The baseboard unit is usually open at the top and bottom for air convection and is situated in the corner where the floor meets the walls. 

Another way is through radiators which continue to retain the heat even after the boiler stops heating. The reason behind this is that it takes some time for the hot water circulating through the radiator to cool down. But then again, this is a great benefit and contributes to energy efficiency. 

A third way is through the combination of hydronics and radiant heating. In a radiant heating system, durable tubing is embedded in or placed beneath the floors. This type is ideal for homes with children who love playing on the floor and family members who stay away from getting cold feet which they normally get from concrete slabs and tiles. In fact, many architects, engineers and home builders have confirmed an increase in demand for radiant heating. 

Indirect water heaters are also one way of providing efficient hydronics heating to homes. In this type of system, water in the boiler is circulated by way of a coil in the indirect water heater. The heater then stores and sends off the hot water whenever necessary. This makes it very efficient in that the indirect water, in order to provide heat, uses the boiler instead of a separate heating source. 

There are many reasons why people prefer hydronics heating over the other types. Primarily, dust is reduced with the absence of a fan-induced circulation of air. Secondly, individual areas can be set up to be switched on or off or set at varying temperatures. Thirdly, the systemís thermostats can be programmed to adjust to your needs. Lastly, its boilers are highly efficient thereby reducing your operating costs. 

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